Pet ownership here in the UK has soared following this year’s lockdown as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. So much so that nearly half of Brits who own a pet introduced another one into their home during lockdown, while 10% of British households intend to bring a pet into their lives over the next few months. While this can be a good thing for all those furry creatures waiting to find new homes, pet charity PDSA warns that getting a pet on a whim without doing your homework first can have a negative impact on the animal’s physical and mental wellbeing. We all want to do the best for our pets, but failing to do our research beforehand means that we can’t always do that, and in worse case scenarios, it can result in abandonment of the animal. Doing your research is a lot more than just reading a quick article too, but initially, the questions you should be asking yourself are:
- Can you afford it? In addition to the initial costs for food, bedding, toys and so on, remember the additional costs for veterinary bills, insurance, microchipping and grooming too.
- Will a pet suit your lifestyle? Do you work away a lot? Are you limited with what you can do with your free time? Bringing a pet into your home is a big commitment, so ensuring that you can accommodate them with your lifestyle is a must.
- Do you or anyone in your household suffer from allergies? It may sound like an obvious one, but factor in any allergies people in your house might have – for example, certain dog breeds can be better for allergy sufferers, so this may affect the choice of breed you go with. Similarly, do you have any regular visitors to your home that have pet allergies?
- Do you have the time for training? Dogs of course will require training from an early age, and in the case of kittens you may need to be prepared to toilet train them. Make sure that not only do you have the time to invest in any training needs, but also be willing to clean up any accidents!
Life Post Lockdown
According to a report by the PDSA, ¼ of pet owners don’t do any research before they get a pet. Getting pets on a whim can often have a number of reasons behind it, one of which can be social media trends or the increasing popularity of certain breeds in TV shows and film. The recent lockdowns have meant more of us have considered getting a pet purely because we have a bit more time at home, but it’s important to consider life post-lockdown and how a pet would fit in. While at the moment, it’s hard to see normality returning any time soon, but if your pre-lockdown work day involved being out of the house from first thing in the morning to last thing at night, or constantly changing shift patterns, it’s important to consider how you can fit in your pet around this.